Updated: Oct 8, 2021

Why use a heart rate monitor?

Training with a heart rate monitor is a cheap and effective way to measure and improve your cycling.

To get the most out of training you will need to understand your heart training zones which are based on a percentage of your maximum heart rate.

How do I get my maximum heart rate?

The traditional approach to finding out your maximum heart rate (MHR) is roughly calculated as 220 minus your age. This is the upper limit of what your cardiovascular system can handle during physical activity.

And remember before undertaking any strenuous activity it’s always best to seek medical advice.

Once you have your MHR you can use the below guide to work out the heart rate required in each training zone.

What are the training zones?

Zone 1: Recovery: 0 to 68 percent

  • This is also known as your active recovery zone. Staying in this zone will help your body recover after a grueling ride.

Zone 2: Endurance: 69 to 83 percent

  • Training in this zone will allow you to go longer and further in your cycling. This zone provides the right balance in establishing the endurance required for long rides and the fuel (stretching out carbohydrate reserves) required to take you through to the end.

  • Typical duration of these ride is 3+ hours

Zone 3: Tempo: 84 to 94 percent

  • Training in the Tempo zone or sweet spot (and we are not referring to your favourite café with those sweet treats) requires training at a higher intensity. Ultimately training in this zone will help cyclists produce more power and ride faster for longer.

  • Typical duration of these rides is 30 mins to 1 hour.

Zone 4: Threshold: 95 to 105 percent

  • Threshold zone or THR (stands for Lactate Threshold Heart Rate). A cyclist’s THR is defined as the highest average power you can sustain for approximately 30 minutes. Training in your Threshold zone increases maximum performance capacity and is best used as part of interval training.

  • Typical duration of these rides is 10 to 30 minutes.

Zone 5: VO2 Max: 106 percent to max

  • This zone differentiates the amateurs from the professionals. VO2 max measures how much oxygen your body can use at maximum output. Training in this zone is all about training your heart so it becomes more efficient at pumping blood around you body where it needs it most.

  • Typical duration of these rides is 3 to 8 minutes

Why are zones important?

By training in different zones and measuring your performance in each this will allow you to understand your strengths and weaknesses. For example, if you are weak in a specific zone you can focus on specific sessions to make improvements.

Also, if you a training toward are specific event or race you can base your training for that event. For example, an endurance ride vs a time trial sprint.

Track your heart rate?

To help measure your heart rate iGPSPORT offers two different models:

  • HR40 – ECG (Electrocardiogram) Chest Strap Heart Rate Monitor and,

  • HR60 - PPG (Photoelectric) Armband Heart Rate Monitor

Sensor Device






Heart Rate Range

40-240 BPM

40-240 BPM


-10C - 50C

-10C - 50C


Bluetooth / ANT +

Bluetooth / ANT+

Waterproof Rating









In summary: Each of the above zones is important for different reasons and provide several benefits, however, it’s important to not become one-dimensional in your training. Mixing up your training to ensure you train in different zones will ultimately make you a better all-round cyclist.

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